REALITY CHECK: Prayer is the lifeline to Jesus.
Even if one knows the Word of God, yet has no prayer life, they are no different than an atheist. We live in a society where brilliant intellectuals teach in our seminary classrooms because of their passion for ancient biblical history – yet they bow to no one. I guess Leonard Ravenhill branded it best when he said, “No man is greater than his prayer life”.
Recently I’ve been personally challenged in my prayer life. Actually, my whole lifestyle has been challenged. Toward the end of 2010, my dear cousin was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. And since then, it’s been a slippery slope for his wife and two kids. Just 4 days ago, the stakes got even higher as he was readmitted to the hospital with doctors claiming “He has about a week to live”.
When crisis hits, I believe we can all admit the volume and depth of our prayers have a sudden spike in behavior. And in these moments of feeling cornered, it is when our prayers will truly reflect our views of God, and who we think He really is.
In my own share of crises:
- I’ve prayed face down, begging and screaming. Yet I’m a child of the Most High and not a beggar (Luke 15:11-32), and He’s near and never far (Romans 8:38-39; Matthew 1:23).
- I’ve prayed as if He doesn’t know the situation, trying to convince him and educate Him on why & how He needs to break in. Yet He knows our prayers before we pray them (Matthew 6:8), and has the solution before the problem.
- I’ve had the audacity to be furious at God, because it was too painful for the situation to be of Love. Yet, He says He IS LOVE (1John 4:8), and is a good father who cares about us more than we can ever care about ourselves (Romans 5:8).
- And …. I’ve even prayed as if He’s some graven Idol, attempting to bargain & appease Him with cheap religion. Yet His blood has paid the price once and for all, and there is nothing we can offer beyond it. (Hebrews 7:26-28)
No matter which strenuous path of prayer I’ve taken, I’ve discovered a seamless commonality in my behavior: Humanism. I understand and admit, that it’s easy during times of desperation to forget who God is. But, we must never let the hands of humanism sneak up behind us to cover our eyes to the true character of our Savior. When we let our own personal experiences, or lack thereof, determine the nature & character of God, we’ve become utterly humanistic. It leads us to make foolish theology, saying that God's will has a caveat in small print that sickness was all part of His plan. Sooner or later, in our frustration & confusion we will begin to aim our guns at an all loving God, and forget there's an enemy who's lustful passions are to "steal, kill & destroy". Man can never be the measure of God, but God Himself is.
I say all this to say, God is more concerned about our situations than we ever will be. So let us agree in unity with God’s heart instead of wasting our prayers trying to convince Him. The Tower of Babel was destroyed because God saw the potential in the power of Unity. So how much more can we destroy the works of the enemy, and shape hell by uniting to agree with Gods Heart?
According to the doctors, my cousins got 3 days left. According to God’s Heart, He’s got 40 years left. I’m going to agree with Heaven no matter the outcome, and continue to command life into that body of His, in Jesus name. Let’s not forget God told us to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cleanse the lepers. The mandate never ended. Hope you join me.
Love you all more than you know,